Finnish Genomes Empowering Personalised and Predictive Health
The Human Genomics Programme at FIMM builds on a long Finnish tradition of high-impact genetic research. Finland was one of the first countries to embrace advances of molecular genetics already in the 1990s, leading to the identification of mutations causing the “Finnish disease heritage”. More recently, during the past three years, FIMM researchers have with 44 publications in top medical journals, e.g. Science, Nature, Nature Genetics, Lancet, importantly contributed to the recent discoveries of novel genes and gene loci that underlie common disease.
Right now, the rapidly increasing capacity to describe the complete genetic and molecular makeup of an individual is changing the way we understand and treat disease. We foresee that Finland has a unique opportunity to be at the forefront of this developing field. To meet this upcoming grand challenge and opening, our strategy is to work towards building a platform that integrates genomic and health outcome data from Finnish national population biobanks into a globally unique and valuable “big data” repository.This plan relies on a close collaboration between FIMM and THL, but also on extensive multidisciplinary collaborations with other national stakeholders, e.g. VTT, the University of Eastern Finland, the Health & Technology Center in Oulu, the Finnish Medical Society Duodecim, the City of Helsinki and Kymenlaakso Social and Health Services and international cutting edge scientists and institutions, such as the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Broad Institute and UCLA.
We envision that data mining of such a massive health data resource will facilitate predictive and preventive approaches, catalyze innovations in health care, as well as empower individuals to reach out towards better health. In our vision, patients and people are seen as active participants and drivers of a “health care system 2.0”.